December Update

On the heels of the release of Mindful Birding: A Beginner’s Guide, you may be asking yourself “why, Laura, would I need a book about birds of Seattle if I live in (INSERT CITY and STATE HERE)?” This month’s blog features some of the cool stuff in the new book that may just pique your interest. And besides, birding this time of year is chilly business so I have way fewer new photos to share…just bein’ real.

Mindful Bird book cover

Birding Learning Curve

Have you considered getting started with birdwatching but got overwhelmed by the sheer volume of birds? The United States is home to in the neighborhood of 1000 birds in our, um, neighborhoods so who could blame you? In the new book, I explain how birding, like pretty much anything new, will have a learning curve that starts out slow but eventually takes off. And I offer an approach to get past our mind’s tendency to put on the brakes when we get overwhelmed.

birding learning curve graphic
Birdbrain Learning Curve © Laura McDermott

Keys to Identification

As I wrote this book, I went back to the basics to think through how I learned to identify birds way back when. Similar to explaining to someone how to back out of the driveway when we’ve gotten to the point of doing that from “muscle memory,” that task was harder than I realized. But in the interest of sharing my knowledge, write it down I did. I then included a chapter on visual ID, a chapter on audio ID, and each featured bird includes a table of quick identifiers. Here’s an example along with one of my favorite up close and personal experiences with the MYSTERY BIRD.

Sandhill Crane photo
Mystery Bird! Sandhill Crane
BIRD IDENTIFIERSSANDHILL CRANE
ColorOverall gray with red around eyes
Shape & sizeTall, heavy body with long neck; 47 inches
Distinguishing characteristicsGather in large flocks, dance
Audio characteristicsLoud, bugling call
Typical locationAround marshy areas, bogs

And finally, recent bird sightings

Red-bellied Woodpecker wonders why it is not called a Red-headed Woodpecker
Wild Turkey celebrates Thanksgiving